It's disingenuous for so-called “environmental” groups to oppose the county’s environmental impact review of its enhanced oil and natural gas ordinance when it created 88 new mitigations for the industry to meet compliance.

The ordinance provides unprecedented transparency to our operations and adds additional environmental mitigation on top of the most stringent regulations anywhere in the world. In addition to the new county mitigation measures, Kern oil producers must follow the rules from nearly two dozen local, state and federal regulators.

The appellate court’s decision disregarding the thoughtful and detailed holding of the trial court is a major step backwards for environmental protection, energy security and the well-being of Kern County.

The massive mitigation measures the industry took under the ordinance change are now on hold. In total, the industry paid nearly $90 million in air quality mitigation alone since the ordinance took effect. That money has funded more efficient tractors for farmers and buses for our schools, improving air quality.

Extremists envision a world without California-produced oil, but Californians will still need to get to work, to school, cook their food and heat their homes. Our dependence on foreign oil has quintupled over the last two decades, mostly from Saudi Arabia — a country that does not share our humanitarian or environmental ideals.

Every barrel of oil not generated right here in Kern County is one more barrel we must import from regimes who have no concern for California’s best interests. In that scenario, the environment loses.

Rock Zierman, CIPA chief executive officer

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